Cress (Fine Curled)
Quick and easy to grow with a lovey characteristic flavour. The small leaves are great in salads, sauces and popular with all manner of dairy dishes. Many gardeners have a fond place in their hearts for cress, as the first plants they ever grew from seed. There is nothing simpler to grow and the expression, “comes up like cress” exists for very good reason.
Sow indoors all year round. Cress is good fun and so easy to grow. It can be sown on and in a large range of things. It can be sown in compost, on moist kitchen roll or cotton wool or any other open structured material that will absorb water, placed in pretty much any type of container at any time of year. Sow generously, water well and place in warm, light position, away from cold draughts and out of intense, direct sunlight. Keep the growing medium moist at all times. Seedlings should start to appear within a few days. No thinning is necessary. Sow more seed every 2 weeks for a continuous supply.
Top Tips About Seeds
- Once the seed packet has been opened, the seeds can be stored in an airtight container until required for further sowings.
- Cress seeds will maintain their vigour for several years but are likely to be used up quickly, so buy more as necessary.
Crops of cress can be grown in small patio pots in summer. They make a great outdoor table decoration when entertaining outdoors. Provide scissors so people can snip their own
Cress plants are straightforward to grow and trouble free.
Cress seedlings are best harvested when they reach approximately 5cm tall. Hold the leaves and cut with scissors at the base of the stem.
Ideas on how to use your cress
Cress is the ideal vegetable to grow with kids as they can be ready to harvest in as little as a week. They can also be grown in lots of fun containers. Try making cress heads; save a mostly intact shell of a boiled egg and draw a fun face on it with a marker pen. The fill the egg shell with damp cotton wool and generously sprinkle cress seeds on top. In no time at all the egg head will be growing a lush green head of ‘hair’. Kids can also use cress to sow a miniature garden in a shallow tray of compost.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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